Wow, it’s cold. If you’re unprepared for the Antarctic blast that’s swept Aoteroa (or if winter has caught you by surprise), it’s time to get organised. Honey, you need a coat! Even if you’re in Auckland.
I adore a coat: the weight of the fabric, the instant smartness of the tailoring, the warmth. I remember buying my first and feeling like it was my first proper, adult fashion purchase. Coats are a commitment, both physically and financially; it’s difficult to go off and impulsively buy one.
The best I have bought, and worn countless times, have been by KW and Twenty-seven Names (a former editor once told me that the designers who make the best coats are those based outside of Auckland; the Wellington TSN team get the importance of comfort and practicality). But the warmest coat I have - the one that I pull out when I am thinking pure function, and warmth - is a brown check Karen Walker for Swanndri coat, bought on Trade Me (it was from the designer’s collaboration with the heritage brand, launched in 2006 but dropped in 2009).
These coats below are from local designers, and all rate in the comfort and cosiness stakes - mostly wool or wool-blends (or classic down), and mostly oversized so they envelope you like a big hug. They’re what I call “a proper coat” - while I am a big fan, I’ve kept lighter weight options off the list. They are for another, warmer day.
To be honest, I want the entire ensemble.
Vaguely ‘60s, this looks great worn gathered at the waist with a sash and without as more of a swing coat. Matching beret optional, but it reminds me of my mid-20s Francophile twee hipster with a fringe phase, so I totally would.
Huffer does a great functional down jacket, but this groovy hot pink one caught my eye.
If you're vibin’ something more minimal, Juliette Hogan’s new drop of down jackets - made from recycled down - will speak to you. I can picture this one on the sidelines of a central city Saturday morning kids' rugby game.
A fashion classic. KW has been doing this style for years and for good reason. There’s a lot of talk of ‘buy now, wear forever’: this is the coat you’ll still be wearing years from now.
I know! This one is very expensive! But Maggie does make a brilliant heavy, lined and beautifully tailored coat, if you have the means and inclination. This one is full-length, and very chic (and it’s also named after a former team member; very sweet).
An oversized cocoon silhouette and made in black: this is one of those coats you will bring out winter after winter.
Too often, people will “invest” in a coat that’s black or navy or camel because they are “classic”. While I definitely agree with buying things that will last and be loved for a long time, I think that can often put people off from trying something different or playful - like, a bright red coat. This one from Zambesi is a boxy minimal style, so won’t date.
An elegant option that’s not black or navy. It’s not lined - it’s a more relaxed fit - but the balloon sleeves make it something special.
It’s not lined, but it is reversible and we love a versatile option. Like wrapping yourself up in a big cosy grey blanket.
Made from a literal blanket! This Wellington-based designer celebrates upcycling with her pieces, including custom-made coats that are made from vintage woollen blankets.